Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 01/22/2018  (Plain Text Version)

Return to Graphical Version


In this issue:
•  Changing of the Guard at MMA Board Meeting: A New President Takes Over
•  Senior Section Luncheon January 24 Features Speakers on Precision Medicine
•  2017-18 Flu Season a Bad One
•  5 tips to help your patients make their new year a healthy one
•  US DHHS Proposes New Conscience and Religious Freedom Rules for Health Care
•  Administration Extends Opioid Emergency Declaration
•  Lyme Disease Continues to Rise in Maine
•  Important Update on MaineCare Provider Enrollment Applications: New Application Fee Amount for 2018
•  Claims-Based Quality Reporting for MIPS: Submitting MIPS Quality Codes on CMS-1500 Claims
•  Community Health Options Sues Federal Government for $5.7 Million
•  Legislative Call This Tuesday, January 23rd
•  Legislative Report: Hospital Program Closures, School-based Health Centers
•  Healthcare Suicide Prevention Protocol Development Training - half day workshop - March 2
•  28th Annual Winter Conference - Contemporary Topics in Orthopedics - March 16-18
•  QC2018: Building Communities of Practice through Innovation - Wednesday, April 4, 2018
•  New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
•  Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
•  MD/DO
•  Chief Executive Officer CEO at Greater Portland Health
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
•  Chief Executive Officer - Pines Health Services
•  Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
•  Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians


Legislative Report: Hospital Program Closures, School-based Health Centers

A brief summary of some hearings that took place last week.


  • Education & Cultural Affairs Committee:  The Education Committee held a work session on suicide prevention protocols for local schools. The bill will call on the Department to draft suggested protocols and require local school districts to enact protocols that may or may not use the Department's suggestions as a template. There was near unanimous support in committee.
  • Health & Human Services Committee:  The Health and Human Services Committee took testimony on LD 1715, a bill that would require an extensive public review process before a hospital could close a particular department or service. The MMA joined the Maine Hospital Association, MaineHealth, Eastern Maine Healthcare System, and others in opposing the bill. The Maine State Nurses' Association and the AFL-CIO were among the witnesses speaking in support. The MMA also testified in support of bills related to re-funding school based health centers and requiring a rule change in DHHS relating to the recoupment of certain debts.  The coming week in HHS will feature opioid bills, along with work sessions on meningococcal vaccines and allowing alcohol consumption in tobacco retail establishments.
  • Insurance & Financial Services Committee:  The Insurance Committee has been conducting work sessions on several carry over bills of interest to Maine physicians.  L.D. 1032, sponsored by Sen. Geoffrey Gratwick, M.D., would amend the definition of "clinical peer" in the Insurance Code and would require health insurance carriers to have a clinical peer render any utilization review decision.  Bangor OB/GYN Paul Smith, M.D., who worked with Dr. Gratwick and the MMA in developing the bill, came to speak to the Committee about his personal experience with the utilization review process by carriers in Maine.  Kate Ende of Consumers for Affordable Health Care also spoke to the Committee about her organization's consumer health line experience with this issue.  The Committee also continues to work on carry over bills that were subject to "mandate studies" by the Bureau of Insurance addressing coverage for long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease (L.D. 1417) and the services of naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) (L.D. 1030).
  • Labor, Commerce, Research & Economic Development Committee:  The LCRED Committee last week conducted a work session on L.D. 958, a bill to enact the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Care Practitioners Act (UEVHCPA), a bill supported by the MMA and the Maine Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, among others.